Solar company Solyndra's CEO steps down

Brian Harrison, who was CEO when Solyndra declared bankruptcy and shut down, has resigned "as scheduled," the company says in court filings.

The CEO of bankrupt solar company Solyndra, which received a $528 million government loan, has resigned.

The company notified the bankruptcy court yesterday that Brian Harrison left the company "as scheduled" last Friday, according to reports. In the filing, it said his departure was considered before the company declared bankruptcy last month, according to an AP report.

Solyndra made solar collectors by covering glass tubes with thin-film solar cells. Martin LaMonica/CNET

Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover became the center of attention last month when the two were asked to testify at a Congressional hearing, but both exercised their rights to not incriminate themselves and provided no substantive answers to questions.

Solyndra also indicated in filings that it intends to bring on high-profile bankruptcy expert Todd Neilson of Berkeley Research Group, according to a Reuters report.

The highly publicized nature of Solyndra's downfall is making it difficult for the company to find potential buyers for its equipment, the company indicated in its bankruptcy filings.

The company received the large loan to build to a factory to make unique solar collectors for flat rooftops of commercial buildings. Solyndra also raised about $1 billion in private capital.

Its technology was promising at the time investors put money into it and it received a loan, but the price of solar-grade silicon has plummeted in the past two years, making its product too expensive. Three other U.S.-based solar companies have declared bankruptcy since August, a sign of the global price war in solar.

Political opponents of the Obama administration have seized on the company failure to argue against policies to promote clean-energy technologies. Another hearing is scheduled this Friday.

In the investigations, several e-mails have been released showing officials within the administration and Office of Management and Budget voicing concerns over the viability of the company. Obama said earlier this month that despite Solyndra's failure, the loan guarantee program should continue to make these types of investments in order to compete with other national governments encouraging clean-energy industries.

 

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